Most small business owners assume they know who their ideal customers are. They go with their gut and make an assumption. This might get them a sale every now and then, but won’t bring any long-term results. So what do you need to know about your customers to make your website awesome and effective? Find out in this post!
Why is it important to know your audience?
Defining your audience sets the tone for how you will market your products and services. When trying to compel your audience, you need to hit them at trigger points that are important to them. A 48-year-old married mother of three living in the suburbs of Indiana will respond differently to a particular ad than a 27-year-old bachelor living in New York City, for instance. You want your target market to respond to your marketing efforts. And the best way to ensure this is to get to know them well beforehand.
Too many companies make the mistake of trying to target everyone. They don’t want to lose out on certain markets, so they don’t really have a target audience, per se. The downside to this is vague language, which results in fewer and fewer leads that are worth pursuing for the sale. You try to appeal to everyone, and in the end get no one at all. Define your audience and cater your content, products, and services specifically to them.
Know their name
Your customer is the main character in the story of your company, the hero trying to solve a problem they’ve encountered in their life. Just as you would plan out all the intricacies of the main character of a movie or novel, you should take time to learn everything you can about your ideal customer. Is this person a man or woman? What’s his name? Where does he live? Is he married? Does he have children? And so on. Ask as many detailed questions as you can, and really get to know this person.
Personifying your customer to this extent and addressing them by name really helps finetune your marketing. Not only that, but it also gives your staff language they can use to invite customers into the story of your product or service.
Know their income level
Another important detail you need to learn about your ideal customer is his income level. Knowing this helps you price your products and services accordingly, and helps you better understand the price sensitivity of your audience. If your product or service is expensive, but your customer makes around $150K a year, their price sensitivity may not be much of an issue, since they can easily afford your product. You could price your product at $599 and $899, for example, and the deciding factor behind the sale comes down to the strength of your marketing. Not whether or not they will be willing to pay the difference.
Be a better Yoda
As part of the story of your company, you are the guide who helps your customer solve a problem in their life. You are the Yoda to their Luke Skywalker. Knowing as much as you can about this person before they come to you asking for help, will allow you to help them more effectively. You can tailor your language in a way that is both authoritative and empathetic; this makes things far more personal for your customer and shows them they can truly trust you to help them with this problem.
How do you find out all this information?
Like we said at the beginning of this article, you could just go with your gut and see what happens. But that isn’t the most reliable way to get meaningful data. To get started learning about your audience, there are a few ways you can proceed.
If you have the budget, hiring a third party is your best option to obtain unbiased information about your target market. If you simply don’t have the money for something like that, instead you can survey your existing customer base. For start-ups that don’t necessarily have any customers yet, the best place to look is at your competitors. Who are they targeting? Reverse engineer their strategy and find ways to implement something similar for your own company. Then, once you have some customers to work with, survey your audience through an email campaign or webform.
It’s helpful to repeat this process at least once a year, to make sure your customer profile is still accurate. When first starting out, you could go every other year or so, depending on your industry.
Knowing your audience is key
Regardless of the path you take to gather data, try to get as much meaningful information as you can. Without good data, you can’t make any solid conclusions or important decisions about your business. Ultimately, the more data you have on your audience, the better positioned you are to polish your marketing and appeal to your customers in the future.
You can save yourself money, time, and frustration if you get to know your audience before you dive into your marketing campaign. Find out who they are, what makes them tick. Listen to your customers, digest the data they give you, and put it to good use!
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